Please Kill Non-Commercial Free Culture

The death of copyright is not as radical as it appears. It is not necessary to have copyright to have effective business models. The publishing industry already makes a lot of money this way – Penguin Books, for example, does quite a lot of business from classics by very famous authors such as Jane Austin, Chaucer, and William Shakespeare – all authors whose work is out of copyright.

Unfortunately for now, we are stuck with copyright. The temporary remedy is to use a ‘Free License’ such as those coming out of Creative Commons. However “free licenses” are not a cure, they merely diminish the symptoms and should be considered a temporary hack, and hacks sometimes diminish our need to address the real problem.

Copyright is the problem, free licenses are the hack. The free culture movement actually avoids identifying and addressing the real problem because they are focused on advocating a temporary solution.

Additionally some free licenses are extremely bad hacks. To cure us of copyright, new economies must evolve from open content to displace closed-copyright models before copyright itself will be seen as hampering business. Then copyright might go away. Howeve,r many free licenses have a specific “non-commercial” clause which means that free culture works cannot participate in emerging free culture economies. Free culture is, in a way, working against its own aims by implementing ’free’ licenses with Non-Commercial clauses.

Someone please kill NC – then copyright itself.

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